In the city of Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday of May each year the horserace known as the KENTUCKY DERBY is held. It’s pretty much become a national event but no where is it more celebrated than in Louisville. I remember going there 3 days after the event a few years ago to visit clients and remember all the decorations and banners that were still up for the “RUN FOR THE ROSES”. In true A FOOD OBSESSION style I came home with a few new food ideas and some local cookbooks. I also made my way over to the BROWN HOTEL to have the American classic sandwich, the HOT BROWN, named for it’s location of birth. A Hot Brown is a broiled open faced sliced Turkey breast sandwich on thick white bread with Mornay Sauce, Parmigiano, Tomato and Bacon. It’s amazing. That trip introduced me to another Louisville cuisine creation, the DEBRY PIE. Let’s get something out of the way first. Unless you buy one from Kern’s Kitchen, the business which invented it in 1950 by Walter and Leaudra Kern at their Melrose Inn , Prospect , Kentucky, you cannot call it DERBY PIE. In 1968 they smartly trademarked the name and while there’s no crime in creating a pie that is similar, you can NEVER call it DERBY PIE. So there you go. Instead call it anything you like, but since it’s part of Kentucky Derby food culture I will call it KENTUCKY DERBY WALNUT AND CHOCOLATE PIE. Whew. Now I’m safe. The Kern’s have sued over 25 times to protect there trademarked name so remember, you don’t want to be the next victim. LOL. The pie is sort of a mashup of a southern Pecan pie with chocolate and a Toll House Pie, sort of. The recipe I use came from the Washington Post:
SERVINGS: 6 – 8
One 8- or 9-inch unbaked pie shell
1 cup chocolate chips
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup walnuts, coarsely ground
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh whipped cream for garnish(optional)
- 2 tablespoons Kentucky Bourbon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have an 8 or 9-inch pie plate at hand.
Place the unbaked pie shell in the plate. Sprinkle the bottom of the pie shell evenly with chocolate chips.
Whisk together the eggs, 1 cup of sugar and flour in a mixing bowl. Gradually mix in the butter, then add the nuts and vanilla extract and bourbon. Carefully pour mixture over the chocolate chips, in a circular motion so it does not disturb the chips. Bake for 1 hour, until the filling is set.
Should be served warmed up…top with the Whipped Cream, over even better, which a good Vanilla Ice Cream….a drizzle of hot chocolate sauce, maybe whipped cream too, up to you. It’s delicious..and it’s fantastic all on it’s own, it’s rich. HAPPY KENTUCKY DERBY DAY!!!